Paul Maritz, group vice president of Microsoft's Platforms Strategy and Developer Group, has announced his retirement, becoming the latest high profile executive to leave the company.
Maritz is retiring after 14 years with the company and 22 years in the hi-tech industry, but will continue to act as a consultant to Microsoft on strategic and business issues.
As a central figure in Microsoft's software development team, Maritz played a key role in almost every major initiative the company has made in the last 14 years. In particular, he worked on the evolution of Windows and Office to the .Net strategy.
Microsoft vice president Sanjay Parthasarathy, who formerly reported to Maritz, has been appointed to a new developer evangelism and business development role, and will report directly to president and chief executive Steve Ballmer.
"While he will be deeply missed, I understand Paul's decision - for personal reasons and after nearly 14 years at Microsoft - to do some of the other things in his life that he'd like to do," said Ballmer.
Maritz's forthcoming departure follows the decision by chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold to leave in May after a year-long leave of absence. Chief financial officer Greg Maffei also left the company earlier this year.
Simon Moores, industry watcher and chairman of the Microsoft Windows User Forums, said: "What we're seeing is signs of a mid-life crisis amongst senior executives at Microsoft. The founders have been carrying the flag for the software industry for 20 years which is a rewarding [but] stressful task."
"Senior people want to enjoy the rest of their lives. There is a pressure on them having made their fortunes to do something more meaningful than developing software," he added.
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